• 1 about 1.5kg whole plaice, gutted (if you can’t get large plaice use two smaller)
  • 25g butter, plus extra for the tin
  • to serve lemon wedges

tartare sauce

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp flaked sea salt
  • ½ tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 200ml sunflower or oil
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 gherkins, drained and chopped
  • a small bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • a small bunch dill, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp baby capers
  • 2-3 tbsp single cream


  • STEP 1

    To make the tartare sauce put the egg yolks, garlic, mustard, salt, 2-3 twists of black pepper, the sugar and vinegar in a food processor or blender and blitz until well combined. With the motor running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until you have a thick, creamy sauce. Scrape into a bowl.

  • STEP 2

    Mix the shallot, gherkins, parsley and dill into the sauce, along with the whole baby capers. Add just enough cream to loosen the mixture a little. It should be a soft, dropping sauce that slides slowly from the spoon as it is lifted from the bowl.

  • STEP 3

    To cook the fish, heat the oven to 220c/fan 200c/gas 7. Butter a large baking tray or shallow ovenproof dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the fish on the tray, white side down. dot the spotty side with more butter and season well.

  • STEP 4

    Put in the centre of the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes or until the fish is just cooked and lightly browned. The flesh behind the head should show only faint resistance when a knife is pushed to the bone.

  • STEP 5

    Take two fillets from each side with two table knives (lifting the skin off first if you prefer) and serve with dollops of tartare sauce and lemon wedges.


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